Amazon Echo is a pretty common item to have in the house nowadays and there are many tasks that the gadget can help with, however, Alexa can also be an ideal virtual assistant to have when working. A few organizations are already getting in on the trend and encouraging employees to bring the device to work with them, the idea being that it will improve workflow and help employees be more organized and productive. Dimension Data points out that in the next couple of year 62% of organization expect that a virtual assistant will have a place in the company. Installing Amazon Echo at the workplace (or if you’re working from home, using it while working) can add a layer of benefits when it comes to dealing with the work at hand.
The first of the many tips I can offer when it comes to using Alexa during my working hours, is using it to make a checklist / to-do list. This is a useful tip whether you have an Amazon Echo or not, as it will help you keep track of the things you have to do throughout the day and prioritize. However, having the device means that not only I won’t have to spend time writing everything down, but I will also get reminders and can easily check back with the device to see what’s next on my list.
Similarly, I can use Amazon Echo to set up a calendar. Keeping track of everything can be stressful – and writing things down on a piece of paper might not be enough, as it can easily get lost. Whether there’s a meeting coming up that I have to attend or there’s a deadline I have to meet, using the calendar function saves me some hassle.
Speaking of meetings, Amazon Echo devices can also get authorization to work with other devices. Which means that during a meeting I can use it to turn on the videoconferencing system, call or text someone, dim the lights, etc. Moreover, all of this can be bundled into a preset, which means that the next time I start a meeting everything can be arranged with a single command.
A timer can also be a useful tool in case I’m billing by the hour, have a very tight deadline, or if I want to dedicate a certain amount of time to a task before I move to the next things on my agenda. Timers can also be useful if I want to take a break. While I might want to get everything done in quick fashion, taking a break every now and then can be helpful as I can return to my work with a fresh mindset. However, it’s easy to lose track of time, which means an alarm can be a good way to remind me to just get back to work.
Communication is also easier using Amazon Echo, as it supports voice calling and can easily be used as a speakerphone. All it needs is for the phone to get set up and then making phone calls can be done my simple voice commands. In addition, text messages can be sent by dictating the message. This is a useful tool if I’m trying to pay attention to my work and want to send a text quickly without having to interrupt everything that I’m doing at that moment.
Speaking of communication, besides texts and phone calls, the device can also read to me the emails that I received. All it needs is for the email to get connected to the device and then I start communicating with it. Once again, if I’m focused on something else, or want to make the most of my time, I can ask it to read my emails while I continue my work. I can also replay to emails, set up responses for when I’m not available, or search for specific emails within my inbox.
Generally, people use Amazon Echo a lot of the time for its shopping capabilities. While this is a great function to have at home, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be useful when it comes to work. When I’m working, I might notice that I ran out of certain supplies and then return back to my tasks and forget all about it. Having Amazon Echo allows me to simply order it right away and make sure that I’ll have the necessary supplies next time I need them – or I can simply make a reminder so that I won’t forget.
Setting up reminders is generally a useful tool overall. Instead of setting one on my phone or on a sticky note, voice command is much easier and won’t break my concentration. The device also keeps the information, which means that I can easily check the history of what my reminders were, in case I want to double check things.
The last of the tips, depending on preference (and if the office environment allows it), is to listen to music or audiobooks while working. Alexa can connect to certain streaming services which enables it play podcasts or audiobooks. If the tasks at hand require a maximum amount of concentration – meaning that I wouldn’t be able to pay attention to the podcast too – then ambient music can be useful. The device can connect to music streaming services, or can act as a noise machine, playing various shop noises – from thunderstorm to city ambient – which can break from the monotony of the day.